UN goals need 'common will', says BIC

October 15, 2015
"Summoning Our Common Will" is a Baha'i contribution to Agenda 2030, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

NEW YORK, United States — The collective ability of the people of the world to willfully work towards their own development will be crucial in implementing major UN goals, the Baha'i International Community (BIC) says.

That is the theme of a new BIC statement released this week which seeks to offer a contribution to Agenda 2030.

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly last month for achievement by 2030 include calls to "end poverty in all its forms everywhere", "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls", and "promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth".

The BIC praised the process by which the UN crafted the goals, noting that it involved input from eight million people in more than 193 countries, representing "the largest consultation ever conducted by the UN".

"People are at the center of Agenda 2030, and this is a major victory," says the statement, entitled "Summoning Our Common Will".

"But care must be taken lest people be treated primarily as passive objects to be developed, rather than as protagonists of development in and of themselves. The ability of people, individually and as members of communities and institutions, to achieve something they collectively value is therefore an indispensable means of achieving lasting progress."

The statement offers the experience of the worldwide Baha'i community as an example of one group that is "striving to learn about the tangible development of their neighborhoods, villages, and communities".

UN logo (by Steve Calcott/Flickr) Slideshow
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UN logo (by Steve Calcott/Flickr)

"To the extent that this experience can contribute to development efforts benefitting the whole of society, in keeping with the cardinal principle of the oneness of humankind, we are happy to offer it for exploration and conversation."

"Consciousness of the oneness of humankind must be the bedrock of any strategy that seeks to engage the world's population in assuming responsibility for its collective destiny," the statement says.